I have trust issues. With my body and health in particular. But is it any wonder? Considering all the health disasters I’ve had this year, I don’t trust my body as far as I could throw myself. I’ve had enough issues, it’s hard to trust that I’ll ever really be well again. And maybe I won’t. That’s the nature of incurable diseases.
But that’s kind of a weird thing, isn’t it? To not trust your body? Although, I guess when you have the types of health problems I have, it makes sense. None of my health issues have modifiable risk factors, meaning there’s nothing I could have done to prevent them. (Except perhaps the infertility, but the tumor caused those problems.) I can eat all the healthy food in the world and exercise until I drop, but it won’t prevent my brain tumor from growing back.
Getting back to trust, however…
I firmly believe that God is in control. *cue the song from the early 90s that’s been covered approximately 750,256 times* The Bible says about a zillion times to trust in the Lord.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
As a Christian, this is probably the hardest thing for me to do. Wait, you mean being a Christian doesn’t give you an easy, carefree life? Ha! Far from it!
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
We face daily persecution from those who don’t agree with our way of life.
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” John 15:18-19
Don’t forget about spiritual warfare!
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:10-12
I could go on forever, but I won’t. We are called to trust God despite all of this. And I do trust God, even in light of the circumstances this year that have brought me to the brink of disaster.
But why? And how?
It was the infertility and resulting depression that brought me to my literal and figurative knees in the first place. I knew I had turned away from God in the past several years. It was really more complacency than anything. I just got so busy with life and all my health issues that started back in 2012 that God just wound up on the back burner. So God needed to use something powerful to get my attention to show me that He was still ready and waiting for me to turn back around and see Him standing right there behind me, where He had been waiting all along. I had nowhere else to turn. So I tentatively reached out my hand and He took it. From that moment, I could hear His voice clearly again, reminding me of the days in high school when I was a new Christian, and the days in college when I was surrounded by so many believers that His Presence was palpable.
It wasn’t easy, though. Spiritual warfare began in earnest. I felt like I was living the life of Job. One thing after another just kept happening and the health issues piled up on top of the infertility and depression. The migraines. The brain tumor. The pelvic issues. I am reminded of this passage from the book of Job:
“His wife said to him, ‘Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!’
He replied, ‘You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?’
In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.” Job 2:9-10
If we surrender our love for God in times of trouble, we are giving Satan the victory he seeks. We can’t abandon faith in God when hardships come, because that’s exactly what Satan wants us to do! (Thank you Ray Stedman for that insight.) If there’s one thing I’ve tried to avoid throughout the chaos of 2016, it’s giving Satan any foothold in my life. Harder than it sounds, believe me.
Therefore, we are left with one option: trust God. Satan has his reasons for wanting us to suffer, but God has His reasons for allowing us to suffer and His reasons will bring perfection out of our pain. Our afflictions always have something to do with God’s eternal purpose.
“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
And honestly? This year has been such a whopper, I can’t wait to see what His eternal purpose is for me! And so, I continue to trust.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” John 14:1